The Importance of Balance

Build a Better Cocktail at Home

Remember Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? Today we’re talking Yoga and the Mastery of Mixology. It all comes down to strength and balance!

Cocktail making seems simple enough on its face...until you fall on yours. In our experience, that comes down to bad balance. Think about those cocktails that make up the standard 6, according to the Cocktail Codex by the mixologists at Death & Co: The Old Fashioned, Martini, Daiquiri, Sidecar, Whiskey Highball, and Flip. They start with a primary flavor, or “Core”, and then add a balancing element to enhance the core. The last bit of seasoning brings it all together, whether that’s a dash of bitters or a cherry on top. Sweet balances sour, salt balances sweet, and mixers tone down the heat of the booze. Working in a little umami gets you to a cocktail namaste.

Ready to strike a pose? Stick to the classic structure (2:1:1) of 2 parts spirit to an equal mix of sweet and sour and you’ll be in good hands. You can mix up your source of sweetness and acid to your heart’s content; honey brings a very different flavor than simple syrup, the same goes with citrus or vinegar-based sours. The easiest way to up the ante is with your garnish – sprig of fresh lavender or rosemary for an aromatic twist, jalapeño slices for a little fresh heat.

You’ll find plenty of options for interesting mixers (and core spirits) on our site and even in our cocktail kits. The only real trick is to avoid extremes. If you grab anything that’s going to bring a heavy dose of flavor, start with less than you think you’ll want. If you’ve ever had an oversalted meal, you’ll know what we mean. Cocktails and cooking have a lot in common! Taste, season, taste again. Find your balance.